Photo Source: Pâmela Lima
I used to be a real grumpy cat in the early mornings and often brought that energy into the day with me. “I’m just not a morning person”, was the excuse I was telling myself if my mood or wellbeing wasn’t at its peak during the few hours after sunrise. Now, I cannot even wait to get up and find out what the day has prepared for me. The most influential parts were the following activities which I incorporated more and more into my daily routine.
How a Mindful Morning Routine Has Changed My Life
Over quite some time I cultivated my personal morning routine. Feel free to try it out with all steps all at once, maybe on a morning, when you have more time, or just pick the ones you like. Or do each step for just one week or a month and see if it improves your wellbeing. I don’t judge! Just try to make it fun and figure out which ones fit your lifestyle.
1. Turning Off the Alarm
No exceptions! Yes hitting that snooze button is tempting but I felt that it’s not healthy for my body to dip in and out of consciousness in 10-minute intervals. It made me feel more sleep deprived during the day because my body didn’t know what to expect and therefore sleepiness later in the day might not be something that unexpected. Plus, now I have way more time to go for all the other amazing morning habits, which will improve my day.
2. Drinking a Glass of Water
Our body didn’t get proper hydration for over 7 hours and it’s no wonder we might not be at our peak energy in the morning hours. To get our bodies and brains functioning we need fuel. Yes we all know how important drinking water is, but to make it easier and not forget, how about just keeping a glass next to your bed and drinking it first thing you wake up?
3. Leaving the Phone Turned Off
I let the morning hours be a time where I put aside worries, comparisons, and FOMO (the fear of missing out) and concentrate on what lies ahead of me. Most of the time it is even more interesting than those social media apps.
4. Taking a Cold Shower
That a burst of cold water increases the alertness we so desperately long for in those early morning hours might seem obvious. But it also strengthens my willpower and emotional resilience. Being voluntarily exposed to a not so pleasant sensation (similar to your body being buried in ice cubes) means that my mind has to actually exert willpower in order to keep me from turning off the tap, or jumping up to the ceiling. It’s a simple (not always easy) habit that builds resilience. It’s easier for me to cope with the struggles of life if I am able to handle a few minutes of cold water on your skin 🙂
5.Sitting and Meditating
Even just sitting for 10 minutes in silence after you wake up sets a calm and mindful tone for the entire day. I might not be inclined to react as fast to confrontations as I normally would or I simply feel more present in whatever situation I find myself in. I also notice that it gets easier to concentrate on tasks for longer without being interrupted by distractions.
6. Read a Book
On some days I just open that novel that has been lying on my bedside table for far too long or I go get that book my friend has been recommending to me recently from the local library. It can be such a relaxing way to start the day by either immersing myself into a world full of stories or absorbing some knowledge by researching the most recent blog post of that one successful person who can teach a lot with her/his life experience.
7.Having a Mindful Breakfast
Okay, this one is up for debate, because not everyone is a fan of breakfasts, while others swear by their daily smoothie or bowl of cereal. Whether we’re taking time to prepare and savor the first meal of the day or just rushing out of our apartments with a cappuccino in your hand, we can still get into the habit of doing those things mindfully. I try to take my time while holding my cup of coffee in my hands and feel the warmth, take in the smell, the colors, the taste. I practice being fully present while my body gets its fuel it needs for the day ahead.
Take these tips as a guideline you could follow, pick out the ones you like. Maybe you have incorporated some already in your morning routine, then feel free to let us know how they have improved your life and leave any further suggestions in the comments.